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Jul 16, 2013

Previews Of This Coming Weekend's World Superbike Event At Moscow Raceway

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Chaz Davies (19).
Munich/Milan. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is heading to the East of Europe where the second half of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship starts in Russia. The “Moscow Raceway” - located west of the Russian capital Moscow close to the city of Volokolamsk - will host the eighth round of the season this weekend (19th to 21st July). In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 237 points. In the Riders’ classification, factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) are lying in fourth and fifth respectively. Marco has collected 182 points so far with his BMW S 1000 RR while Chaz has 154 points.

This round is the second visit by the Superbike World Championship to the new “Moscow Raceway” which was only opened one year ago in July 2012. Last year’s Russian debut was a more than successful weekend for BMW Motorrad. With one victory and a second place, Marco took the lead in the Riders’ championship. It was another milestone, as Marco was the first BMW rider to top this classification. In both races, the fastest lap was done with an RR: former factory rider Leon Haslam (GBR) secured this trophy in race one, Marco in race two. The Italian also achieved the highest speed in the races with 315.1 km/h. Chaz, since this season on duty as a BMW factory rider, has very fond memories of Russia, too, with the “Moscow Raceway” being the venue of his first ever podium finish in World Superbikes.


Moscow from the rider’s point of view:

Marco Melandri:
“During the Dorna test in Imola we tried some new setting solutions which worked quite well. On a different track of course we have to restart working on the set up but we will not start completely from the scratch.

The Superbike World Championship made its debut in Moscow last year. It was a very good debut and I also had lots of fun. The track is pretty flowing; you never brake or accelerate hard. You need to let the bike go as fast as possible into the corner. I don’t expect any gifts but I’m confident that we’ll have good races and that we could be among the protagonists.”

Chaz Davies:
“I like the Moscow circuit. It is quite interesting and I think it is quite different to what people had expected. It is a small track and physically very demanding. In the first part, you get zero rest until the long straight before the last corner so you have got pretty physical work over most of the lap. The first part is also very technical, especially the section from the very long right-hander turn 3, when it comes back uphill and goes into a double apex left turn. There the line is pretty important as it is all connected.

I enjoyed racing there last year. It was a good weekend for me. In race one, I fast and catching the leader but then I had a gearbox problem, so I think I could have won. In the second race I finished third on the podium, though I have to say that I was a bit lucky as two competitors in front of me crashed. This year as usual it will be important to find a good set-up in the first practice on which to build on over the weekend. Overall I am looking forward to it and I hope that the little things that we found on Imola’s Monday test will help us in Russia.”

Moscow from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The test day after the races in Imola was really useful to prepare for the coming rounds. In the four hours track time available we tried many different solutions which worked well and which our riders liked, even if in two hours of testing each in the morning and in the afternoon we could not try everything. Marco and Chaz were satisfied with the test and are confident for next races.

Moscow also marks the halfway point of the season, which is particularly long and challenging. For this reason we are continuing to work hard for next races. Marco, last year, did a very good job in Moscow. He really likes this track and it suits very well to his riding style. Chaz was also on the podium last year, showing how much he likes this track. The track is technical in the first part, with a long straight in the second part, where we could take advantage with our BMW powerful engine. The characteristics of the track suit quite well with our RR. We’re confident that we’ll have a positive weekend.”

Moscow from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We are all looking forward to the Russian event which not only is important for the championship but also for the motorsport in general. It is nice to visit the ‘Moscow Raceway’ and Russia for the second time and it is essential for the Superbike World Championship and for the motorsport to expand its borders. Last year even if we got a very good result on this new race track it has been a difficult race weekend for the crews as we started without any data and reference. This year we expect to be better prepared, counting on the data gathered in 2012.

The race track needs good handling for the tight sections but as well braking stability for the turn after the over 900 m long straight. On this straight, the engine performance is important not only regarding top speed but mainly for acceleration. Both riders had adapted very well to the track in 2012, being together on the podium in race 2. Our RR will receive small updates for the chassis, the engine and the electronic as result of the last Imola test. So we are confident to start the second half of the season well prepared.”

Moscow from Pirelli’s point of view:
For Pirelli, the “Moscow Raceway” is still quite a new track with not as much data available as for other circuits. In 2012, World Superbikes raced at the end of August and the asphalt was almost immaculate with absolutely no grip. With works still in progress around the track it had initially brought a lot of sand onto the asphalt causing some problems with wear to the tyres during the tests and free practice sessions. This year the circuit is finally finished and they ran different competitions so the asphalt should be more rubberized, however, there remains the unpredictable weather that could play an important role. In 2013, the date has in fact been brought forward a month, but it is not known how the temperatures will be.

The riders in the Superbike class will have three slick solutions available for the front and as many for the rear, joined as always by the rear qualifiers, the intermediate solutions and the wet tyres. On the front, as for every round raced this year, Pirelli brings the standard SC1 solution (R426) in a soft compound – ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks, as well as the standard SC2 (R982), also brought to all the 2013 rounds and excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread strip. The third slick alternative available to the Superbike riders for the front is the R753, a development solution in SC2 compound, an alternative to the standard SC2 which tends to be sturdier and therefore more resistant to aggressive asphalt.

For the rear the riders will find the new development solution R1431 in SC1 compound which has been brought for the first time to Imola and which was designed with the goal of providing higher tear resistance but equal grip compared to the standard SC1. Another alternative with same SC1 compound is the S513, a new development solution in medium compound already seen at Monza using the same compound of standard SC1 but with reinforced central section. Last slick option is the R1300, a medium-hard development solution brought only to Phillip Island and Donington which provides better wear resistance than the standard SC1 and more grip than the standard SC2.

Background:
The “Moscow Raceway” is located about 80 kilometres to the west of the Russian capital Moscow, close to the city of Volokolamsk. In the middle of the sweeping landscape, right next to the motorway to Riga, stands an ultra-modern facility with a four-kilometre racetrack and generous pit and function buildings boasting a full array of the latest equipment. The grandstands hold up to 30,000 spectators, although the capacity can also be increased if necessary. The architect responsible for this circuit is German expert Hermann Tilke. The “Moscow Raceway” was opened in July 2012 and the Superbike World Championship made its Russian debut at the end of August that same year, making it the first world championship to stage one of its races at the circuit.

The “Moscow Raceway” blends into the surrounding landscape with a number of up and downhill sections. Most riders are in agreement: the circuit is fun to ride. In general, however, it is a slow, very technical and physical track. It has a lot of different corners in quite a small space, the majority of them are taken in first or second gear. The riders don’t get to rest for the first one and a half minutes of a lap – they go from one corner immediately to the next.

The riders can only really open the throttle in the final third of the circuit which features a nearly one kilometre long straight. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies will be able to fully exploit the power of their BMW engines here. The end of this straight and the first corner after the start/finish straight offer good overtaking opportunities.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Championship Leader Sykes Joins With Baz Again In Moscow

WSBK, Moscow, Russia

Tom Sykes and Loris Baz will lead the Ninja ZX-10R charge when the SBK championship heads to Moscow Raceway for the eighth round, with Sykes now in the lead of the championship for the first time.

Championship Leader Sykes Joins With Baz Again In Moscow
The KRT team and riders did not take part in the official single day Imola tyre tests after the most recent round of the year in Italy, in which Sykes won both races and got his championship challenge back on track in emphatic fashion. The team opted to recharge their batteries in readiness for another big push towards full points from Sykes and more top five and podium finishes for Baz.

Sykes and his Ninja ZX-10R have been able to operate at full pace since the start of the year and despite some misfortunes along the way in race conditions both bike and rider enter the Moscow round in an enviable leading position in the points table, six ahead of the next nearest challenger. Sykes won both races at Imola - and the inaugural race at Moscow Raceway in 2012 - so he is understandably keen to get back into race action after a two weekends away from the track.

For Loris Baz this race will signify his second time in Russia on the Ninja ZX-10R, although his results last year did not match his already proven potential to win or take podium places at other meetings. After a heavy practice fall in Imola the tough young French rider recovered well to score points and he still sits inside the top six in the championship ranking.

Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) will be joined by his countryman Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) in Moscow. Savadori has no regular Superstock 1000 FIM Cup round this weekend and thus he will stand-in for the injured Alexander Lundh.

Tom Sykes: “Last year Moscow was new for everybody and I consider myself quite good at learning tracks pretty quickly. I have a massive belief in Kawasaki and the team so I knew we would make a good package for Moscow last year - and we won a race because of it. Like me almost all my rivals have knowledge of the Russian track now so it will be harder this year but it is a good circuit to compete at. We went down in history as winners of the first ever race there last year, which adds to the enjoyment of going back there. Overall it is a tight, twisty and technical track but it does provide for good racing.”

Loris Baz: “I am feeling good now after the Imola round. We made a positive step in testing before the previous round but could not show it fully in Italy because of the pre-race crash I had. Now we are going to try to show our best pace when we get to the Moscow circuit. Last year it was not my favourite layout but I think we have improved quite a lot since the beginning of the year. I want to be with the top guys this weekend or at least very close to them. My feeling with the bike is really good and we just need a step to be with the guys at the very front. We have to try to be with them every weekend and we all know which direction we have to go in to improve some more.”




More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:

FIXI Crescent Suzuki ready for a Russian adventure

The 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship will reach this season’s half-way point this coming weekend as the FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad heads to Russia for the eighth round of this year’s series.

Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel will be at the Moscow Raceway for only the second time in the history of World Superbike, with the pair looking to continue with the rise in competitiveness from the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R. Camier took a pair of seventh place finishes last-time out at Imola and will be looking to push on with the form at the Moscow Raceway in 2012, that saw him take a spirited fifth place after starting from 18th on the grid. Cluzel tasted success at the Russian circuit last season as he secured Pole Position at the 3,931m track and followed that up on race-day to take second place. He will be looking to find some of that form as he makes his Superbike debut in Russia.

The track is located approximately 100kms from Moscow, along the Novorizhsky Highway and the circuit is built on a slope, which allows its layout to follow the natural terrain. There are 17-corners throughout the configuration and a number of uphill and downhill sections which offer a mixture of fast and slow sections, as well as one of the longest straights (one kilometre in length) in the championship. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke and opened in 2012 following a cost in the region of €130 million to build this superb facility.

Camier, Cluzel and the rest of the WSB field will take to the track on Friday morning for the first free practice session, before competing in the opening qualifying practice in the afternoon. Saturday morning will have a second qualifying session to confirm riders that will progress towards Superpole. Sunday’s first race – to be held over 25-laps - is scheduled for 12.00hrs local time (09.00hrs BST), with the second event set to get underway at 15.30hrs local time (12.30hrs BST).

Leon Camier:
“Moscow is a tough and demanding track, it’s like Imola in that way although quite a different layout. We found a couple of things at the test and it will be good to try them out over a race weekend and hopefully we won’t encounter the chatter problems as we did in Italy. We still need to make small detailed steps with the bike, and I need to make sure I am at the top of my game. We have found a couple of positive improvements but we still need a bit more to challenge for the podium, so we will be looking to make further improvements throughout the weekend and maximise our potential.”

Jules Cluzel:
“I am looking forward to going to Moscow, because the last race weekend at Imola was a bit of a disaster for me and I need to put that behind me and start working again in the best way for us. We did some stuff at the test after the last race and learned what we can do with the bike and also what we can possibly do as the season continues. I think we will try to make as few changes as possible this weekend, because my riding needs to improve, so that I can make the most out of the bike that I have at the moment. I had a Pole and second in the race in Moscow last year and I had a good feeling at the track. I believe it will be a better place from me and I think that I will really enjoy riding the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Superbike there.”



More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:

Pirelli ready to get on track in Russia for the halfway point of the Eni FIM Superbike World Championship and the second round of the Cup of Nations

For the eighth of fifteen rounds scheduled this year, the brand of the long P will provide Superbike and Supersport riders with SC1 and SC2 tyres which are best suited to the features of the Russian circuit and to lower temperatures

Moscow (Russia) – After last year's debut, Pirelli returns to Russia on the Moscow Raceway circuit for the halfway point of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship now in its eighth round of the season out of 15 planned for 2013. On the Russian track Superbike and Supersport riders will race plus participants of the Cup of Nations 2013.

The general standings of the Superbike class is increasingly hard fought and at the top continue to alternate between several riders, including Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), the current leader of the Championship having just returned from a splendid double win at Imola, Aprilia Racing Team teammates, Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty, and the BMW Italian rider Marco Melandri. In addition to the performances offered by the riders, this first part of the 2013 season gave satisfaction also thanks to the excellent work done by the new 17-inch Diablo Superbike tyres that so far have shown their qualities, contributing in a fundamental way to improve lap times and beat historical records.

In Supersport, where riders used treaded tyres; Diablo Supercorsa SC, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport) leads the standings with 140 points, but is closely followed by the riders of MAHI Racing Team India Kenan Sofuoglu at 106 and Fabien Foret at 85.

The Russian circuit will also host the second of three stages planned for the Cup of Nations 2013, a trophy on Pirelli tyres sponsored by Russian tycoon Alexander Yakhnich and open to riders with a minimum age of 16 years. Pirelli guarantees riders a minimum of 1 set of dry tyres (SC1 front and rear) and 1 set of wet tyres for each race. At the front end, they will have Diablo Supercorsa SC2 compounds in range (R1031) size- 120/70-17, for the rear Diablo Supercorsa standard SC1 (R303) size- 180/60-17.

The Moscow Raceway is a car and motorcycle track located near Sycëvo in Volokolamskij region, about 80 kilometres west of Moscow and opened last year.

The construction of the circuit, designed by renowned German architect Hermann Tilke, began in October 2008 and, after a period of interruption restarted in June 2010, with completion in mid-2012.

This circuit has a total of 18 different layouts ranging from a maximum of 4,070 meters to a minimum of 1,357 meters of length. The main two formats used are : that of 3,955 meters usually used for car races and the other, 3,931 meters intended for the motorcycle races as Superbike. The first race ever organized on the track was that of the World Series by Renault raced on 14-15 July 2012, to follow the track hosted the World Superbike Championship at the end of August last year.


Moscow from a tyre point of view:

The Moscow Raceway track has 10 turns to the left and 7 on the right, a maximum slope of 4% and the start is on the right side for the rider in pole position. The layout of the Russian track provides a fairly slow and technical sector and a part composed of two long, consecutive and very fast straights.

For the front tyres, the track requires a good balance between keeping up speed for the flowing part, and the strength/support for the violent braking and turns close to the straights, for the rear tyres instead, this layout is not particularly critical.

However on both tyres, front and rear, last year the track was found to be very aggressive because of the constant presence of sandy sediments on the surface and uneven road surfaces.

The presence of sand represents a reduction of the surface area of the tyre footprint, significantly compromising the grip between compound and asphalt. As a consequence of this, there was the strong tendency to slip in the corner , which on an asphalt just produced (and consequently quite abrasive), generated on the tyres abrasion due to rubbing. The phenomenon then has been gradually improving with the progress of cleaning the track and the increasing deposition of rubber.

The choice of the rear tyres will have to take into account the level of grip/cleaning of the track, and the riders should try to face the early sessions of the weekend with a rear tyre which is more robust (SC2), and then shift the focus onto the SC1 solutions.

Concerning the choice of the front tyre, it must be taken into account the robustness of the tyre, in addition to its mechanical strength. The SC1 last year in some cases could trigger movement problems after a few laps, and for some riders this lower stability could turn into potentially ‘losing’ the front. To improve the robustness of the front axle during cornering and for a better wear, the most suitable solution is definitely the SC2.


Moscow from a technical point of view:

"We have ridden here for the first time last year a few months after the inauguration and we were the first ever to do it with two wheel machines," said Pirelli Moto Racing Director Giorgio Barbier "However, for us it is still quite a new track and we haven’t collected a lot of data. In 2012 we raced at the end of August, the asphalt was almost immaculate with absolutely no grip. With works still in progress around the track it had initially brought a lot of sand onto the asphalt causing some problems with wear to the tyres during the tests and free practice sessions. This year the circuit is finally finished and they ran different competitions so the asphalt should be more rubberized, however, there remains the unpredictable weather that could play an important role. In 2013, the date has in fact been brought forward a month, but we do not know what temperatures we’ll find so, on the basis of the limited data collected last year, we decided to focus on solutions more robust and more protected as the SC1 and SC2 compared to the SC0 which offers more performance but could present problems because of the aggressiveness of a new asphalt and in the case of temperatures being not high enough ".


Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes:

For the Moscow round Pirelli will be bringing 3366 tyres for the race weekend included those for the Cup of Nations. 1394 tyres are destined for Superbike riders, 1768 for Supersport as well as 204 for the Cup of Nations.

Each Superbike rider will have 35 front tyres and same quantity for the rear, whereas the Supersport riders will have 25 front and 27 rear tyres.

The riders in the Superbike class will have 3 slick solutions available for the front and as many for the rear, joined as always by 2 rear qualifiers per rider and the intermediate solutions, 4 for the front and as many for the rear, as well as 8 wet tyres for the front and 8 for the rear.

On the front, as for every round raced this year, Pirelli brings the standard SC1 solution (R426) in a soft compound - ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks, as well as the standard SC2 (R982), also brought to all the 2013 rounds and excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread strip.

The third slick alternative available to the Superbike riders for the front is the R753, a development solution in SC2 compound, an alternative to the standard SC2 that was already brought to Phillip Island, Monza, Portimão and Imola which tends to be sturdier and therefore more resistant to aggressive asphalt.

For the rear the riders will find the new development solution R1431 in SC1 compound which has been brought for the first time to Imola and which was designed with the goal of providing higher tear resistance but equal grip compared to the standard SC1.

Another alternative with same SC1 compound is the S513, a new development solution in medium compound already seen at Monza using the same compound of standard SC1 but with reinforced central section. Last slick option is the R1300, a medium-hard development solution brought only to Phillip Island and Donington which provides better wear resistance than the standard SC1 and more grip than the standard SC2.

Supersport riders for the front once again will be able to choose between the two standard solutions, the SC1 in a soft compound (P1177) ideal for medium harsh tracks and the SC2 in medium compound (R1031) ideal for aggressive riders who prefer a compact tread strip, both already used in all the races held so far in 2013.

On the rear, as with the Superbike class, two SC1 and one SC2 solutions will be brought. Specifically the SC1 R1134, a development solution in medium compound alternative to the standard SC1 already seen at Phillip Island and Monza and the SC1 R303, in a medium compound and ideal for medium harsh tracks, already brought to the first seven 2013 rounds. The third solution is the R1287, a medium-hard development solution already brought to Australia which provides better mechanical resistance than the SC1.


The 2012 Pirelli statistics for Moscow:

• Total number of Pirelli tyres brought: 3864

• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate, wet and qualifier only for rear) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 36 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 24 front and 28 rear

• Superbike Best Lap Awards won by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in 1'36.729 (Race 1, 13th lap) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in 1'35.794 (Race 2, 10th lap)

• Supersport Best Lap Awards won by: Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) in 1'38.167 (12th lap)

• Temperature in Race 1: air 18° C, asphalt 18° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 21° C, asphalt 37° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli tyres: 317 km/h, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) in Race 2 on the 4th lap.




More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Ducati Alstare:

Moscow Raceway is the next destination for Team SBK Ducati Alstare

Moscow (Russia), Tuesday 16th July 2013: team SBK Ducati Alstare prepares to travel to Russia for round 8 of the 2013 World Superbike championship which will take place this weekend at the Moscow Raceway, a circuit that was officially opened just a little over a year ago.

Last year, when Moscow Raceway hosted the Superbikes for the first time, Carlos Checa snatched pole position having put in a strong performance during the practice sessions. Ayrton Badovini recorded a best result of eighth place, having made a very strong recovery in the second race.

The Ducati Alstare team has worked hard in preparation for the upcoming event. After the recent race at Imola two weeks ago, the team then took part in official testing followed by two days of private testing at the Misano circuit. Both Carlos and Ayrton then continued with their respective training programmes in order to arrive at the Moscow track fully fit.

Carlos Checa: “During testing in Misano I was comfortable with the bike and now I hope that the base we identified there is a real base that we can use not only in Moscow but at other tracks too. Physically I feel good, and am working hard in the gym with my trainer. The positive thing is that, despite completing 1400km between Imola and Misano, my shoulder didn’t give me any problems and so I’m pleased from that point of view. The Moscow Raceway is a unique track, small and tight, and power counts a lot on what is a long, uphill straight. Once there we need to work on the chassis, grip and manageability of the bike through the mixed sections of the track. I hope we can refine the set-up of my 1199 using our current base as a starting point and work well in preparation for the races.”

Checa’s Superbike form at Moscow Raceway:
2012: Race 1- DNF, Race 2 – 4th

Ayrton Badovini: “I didn’t go so well at the Raceway last season, I wasn’t in top form, seeing the track for the first time, I wasn’t totally at ease on the bike for some reason. This year on the other hand, thanks to all of the tests and work we’ve completed recently, we head there with a good base setting. I’m feeling better prepared, both mentally and physically, and am in good shape. So I’m more confident as we head to Russia than I was there in 2012, and maybe it’ll be easier to ride the two-cylinder than the four-cylinder bike on this tight track, we’ll soon see anyway.”

Badovini’s Superbike form at Moscow Raceway:
2012: Race 1- 12th, Race 2 – 8th


CIRCUIT DATA:

Country: Russia
Name: Moscow Raceway
Length of circuit: 3.931 km
Pole Position: right
Race distance: 25 laps = 98.275 km

LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Melandri (BMW) 1'35.794 (2012). Superpole – Checa (Ducati) 1'34.193 (2012).

2012 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Melandri (BMW); 3. Biaggi (Aprilia). Race 2 – 1. Melandri (BMW); 2. Sykes (Kawasaki); 3. Davies (Aprilia).




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Althea Racing Team – Moscow Raceway preview

The eighth round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship will take place over the weekend of July 19/20/21 at the Moscow Raceway circuit in Russia. It will be the World Superbikes’ second visit to the Russian circuit, after their 2012 debut. Moscow Raceway’s stands offer fantastic views of the track and its spectacular corners, and can accommodate up to 100,000 spectators. The pit building and Race Control Tower are at the heart of the action while 30 spacious pit garages, 6 huge and luxuriously equipped VIP Areas, Race Control infrastructure, High Tech Multifunctional Conference Facility and all other facilities and services will meet the highest requirements. On July 18th 2012 the Moscow Raceway circuit passed the FIM 2012 final inspection. The FIM Safety Commission’s representative Mr. Danis has approved the track for hosting international bike racing including the Superbike World Championship. The contract for the organization of the eighth round of the World Superbike Championship was signed between Dorna and YMS Promotion Ltd which will organize the Russian rounds of Superbike for the next nine years.

After a strong performance in the races at Imola, the first of which saw Davide Giugliano reach the second step of the rostrum, and after a day’s testing in which the Althea Racing rider closed with the overall second fastest time, Genesio Bevilacqua’s squad is now in Moscow, ready to take part in round eight of the 2013 World Superbike championship that has now reached the half-way mark. Davide Giugliano has positioned himself as a frontrunner at each round, thanks to his maturity, impressive riding ability and also thanks to a bike that is in no way inferior to the factory machines. Both rider and team will therefore be working to confirm their competitiveness in Russia, fighting for the podium positions.

Davide Giugliano: "I like the Moscow track and I was fast in last year’s practices. Then unfortunately in the race things didn’t go so well and I only took a sixth place finish in race two. I will try to do better this time around, also because I know I’ll be able to count on a very fast bike, an important characteristic on this track considering the long straightway before the pits. During the test day at Imola we found some good solutions that we hope be able to exploit this weekend in order to take strong results in Sunday’s races.”




More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

WSBK enters second half of the season at Moscow Raceway

Rome (Italy) – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship is travelling to Moscow Raceway for the eighth round of the season, scheduled for the upcoming weekend. The Russian track made its debut on the world scene last year, marking a new era in motorcycle racing.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) enters the round as the first Kawasaki rider, after 19 years, to lead the World Superbike standings: in 1994, reigning Champion Scott Russell got back on top in the points after a double victory at Sugo (Japan), before eventually losing the title by the hands of Carl Fogarty.

The British rider has also the chance to equal Ben Spies' record of seven pole positions in a row, as Sykes has been victorious in every Tissot-Superpole from Round 2 onwards this year. Back to action after a perfect Italian weekend at Imola, Sykes hopes to maintain his Championship form, on the track that saw him finishing 1st and 2nd in the two races last time out.

Unseated from the lead for the first time in 2013, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) hopes to step up his game again to slow down Sykes' impressive momentum. The 31 year old Frenchman had a difficult time in Moscow the past year, with a disappointing DNF and an 11th place on race day.

A vital opportunity to stay in contention for the title awaits Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), both aiming to narrow their further increased gaps (45 and 53 points respectively) from the top after Round 7. In 2012 Melandri lived in Russia one of the best moments of his WSBK career, when he grabbed the Championship lead – for the first time ever – only to lose it the following event.

After the successful test for the Suzuka 8 Hours, in which they will take part later in the month, Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam will try and take the best out of the encouraging indications that came out of the one-day, post-race Official Test at Imola, two weeks ago.

Despite a lack of podium finishes in 2013, Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) hope that the hard work done so far will bear fruit this weekend, in order to finally be able to battle for the top-3.

Standings - provisional (round 7 of 15)*: 1. Sykes 235; 2. Guintoli 229; 3. Laverty 190; 4. Melandri 182; 5. Davies 154; 6. Baz 136; 7. Rea 125; 8. Fabrizio 120; 9. Giugliano 99; 10. Camier 80; 11. Cluzel 77; 12. Neukirchner 60; 13. Checa 59; 14. Badovini 59; 15. Haslam 42. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 289; 2. Kawasaki 259; 3. BMW 237; 4. Honda 138; 5. Suzuki 122; 6. Ducati 96.

* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.

World Supersport

After putting an end to Sam Lowes' (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) 4-race winning streak to an end, Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) is looking for a repeat performance this weekend at Moscow Raceway. The defending Champion came out victorious of last year's Russian round, crossing the line a lonely first ahead of former PTR Honda rider, now WSBK rookie in the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team, Jules Cluzel.

Lowes, on the other hand, was able to limit the damage in the previous race at Imola by ending up 2nd after a difficult start of the race and a last-turn overtake on team mate Vladimir Leonov. The young Brit, in fact, still leads the standings with a considerable 34 points gap over the three-time World Supersport Champion. Leonov's first podium of the season came at the right time, as the local rider is hoping to shine again in front of his home crowd after last year's third place finish.

Despite the 55 point separation from the top, Fabien Foret still holds a key-role in the title fight, as the only way for the Frenchman to stay in contention for victory is to aim for the win at every round. Pata Honda riders Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti will are still looking for the team's first win in the season, with the Italian who scored at Moscow Raceway two top-10 finishes in 2012, as he was racing onboard a Ducati 1198 in the Superbike class.

Irishman Jack Kennedy will debut on Rivamoto Team's home track, while Vladimir Ivanov (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki) won't be part of the game as he is still recovering from multiple injuries he sustained after a massive crash at Imola. The rider from St. Petersburg, who was moved out of intensive care one week ago, will be replaced by team mate and STK600 rider Alexey Ivanov.

Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) will sit out the Russian round too, as he agreed with the team to miss the race in order to use the 4-week break to let his shoulder heal properly. American Kenny Noyes will step in for the injured South African rider.

Standings (round 7 of 14): 1. Lowes 140; 2. Sofuoglu 106; 3. Foret 85; 4. Vd Mark 73; 5. Zanetti 68; 6. Scassa 63; 7. Antonelli 55; 8. Kennedy 47; 9. Leonov 42; 10. Rolfo 40; 11. Marino 39; 12. Morais 36; 13. Russo 28; 14. Coghlan 22; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 155; 2. Yamaha 148; 3. Honda 104; 4. MV Agusta 46; 5. Suzuki 19; 6. Triumph 6.